There’s Only Room For One: The Ongoing Tug of War Between Successful Black Women

My latest Madame Noire feature

There’s this wicked little rumor that has been floating around for decades. The rumor implies that black women are incapable of supporting one another. I call it a rumor because I highly doubt that we are unable to support each other, I just believe that we have allowed ourselves to be fooled to an extent. We’ve fallen victim to what Rene Syler refers to as the “there’s only room for one” phenomenon, which she explains as “the idea that whatever the field, it’s a zero sum game and another woman of color is competition.” Although this sounds like a very foolish and simple way of thinking, it is an ideology that has been subconsciously embedded in our culture. It makes perfect sense when you think about it, though. The black woman is the poster-child for oppression in America. Taking history into consideration, we were not only oppressed because we were black, we also had to fight for our rights as women. Decades later the scars still remain and we still walk around with this idea ingrained in our subconscious: I gotta get mines, good luck getting yours…

The latest cat fight erupted in the form of Twitter beef a couple of weeks ago between Nicki Minaj, who is undeniably the dominant female presence in hip-hop right now, and rising star Azealia Banks. As Banks tweeted

Read the full story on Madame Noire 

3 Responses to “There’s Only Room For One: The Ongoing Tug of War Between Successful Black Women”
  1. Nadine S. Lockwood, Ph.D. says:

    This has indeed been an issue for me. I had a supervisor who would never meet with me one on one, but would not hesitate to pick up the phone and scream at me. I always did m work, there was always some problem, according to her. Another woman suggested that I meet with her privately to clear the air. She blew me off. Another so called, “friend,” I approached about employment, she made a big production about being busy, and that she would have to look into it. She always had some excuse regarding why there no positions. I know for a fact she has hired others, at the same time I was looking for work. While we were in graduate school, she was always at my house and we worked on several projects together. So, she was familiar with my work ethic. All of a sudden, her philosophy is: “we can’t all work at the same place.” I am a professional with over twenty years experience, and a doctorate degree. I knew this woman before she had a masters and “0” experience in our field.

  2. Dawn Marie says:

    Reblogged this on Project Beauté and commented:
    This is definitely an interesting topic

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